nep-edu New Economics Papers
on Education
Issue of 2011‒06‒18
nine papers chosen by
Joao Carlos Correia Leitao
University of Beira Interior and Technical University of Lisbon

  1. Family Background, Gender and Cohort Effects on Schooling Decisions By Javier Valbuena
  2. The Determinants of Non-Cognitive and Cognitive Schooling Outcomes. Report to the Department of Children, Schools and Families By Elena Meschi; Anna Vignoles
  3. The effects of educational systems, school-composition, track-level, parental background and immigrants’ origins on the achievement of 15-years old native and immigrant students. A reanalysis of PISA 2006 By Dronkers Jaap; Velden Rolf van der; Dunne Allison
  4. The funding and efficiency of higher education in Croatia and Slovenia: a non-parametric comparison By Aristovnik, Aleksander; Obadić, Alka
  5. Test score disclosure and school performance By Camargos, Braz Ministério de; Firpo, Sergio Pinheiro; Ponczek, Vladimir Pinheiro
  6. Risk Premium and Expectations in Higher Education By Gonzalo Castex
  7. Student Loan Reforms for German Higher Education: Financing Tuition Fees By Bruce Chapman; Mathias Sinning
  8. Do Guns Displace Books? The Impact of Compulsory Military Service on Educational Attainment By Bauer, Thomas; Bender, Stefan; Paloyo, Alfredo; Schmidt, Christoph M.
  9. High-School Exit Examinations and the Schooling Decisions of Teenagers: A Multi-Dimensional Regression-Discontinuity Analysis By John P. Papay; John B. Willett; Richard J. Murnane

  1. By: Javier Valbuena
    Abstract: In this paper we use unique retrospective family background data from Wave 13 of the British Household Panel Survey (BHPS) on different birth cohorts to analyze the relevance of family background, in particular parental education, and gender on differential educational achievement. We find parents’ education attainments to be strong predictors of the education of their offspring. In particular, maternal education is the main determinant on the decision of whether stay-on beyond compulsory education. Our results are robust to the inclusion of a large set of control variables, including household income. A second research question addressed in the paper investigates whether the large expansion of the UK educational system during the last decades has concurred with enhanced relative educational opportunities for children of parents with low educational background. The analysis reveals that the relevance of parental education over time becomes stronger in terms of achieving higher educational levels, in particular university degree. However, there are significant dissimilarities with respect to gender differences; in particular we observe a positive secular trend in female education attainment associated to maternal education.
    Keywords: Educational attainment; Schooling; Early school leaving; Education transmission
    JEL: I21 I28 J11
    Date: 2011–06
  2. By: Elena Meschi; Anna Vignoles
    Abstract: The Centre for the Economics of Education was asked to investigate the factors that influence a range of children's academic and non-academic outcomes, including their enjoyment of school, whether they take unauthorised absence from school and whether they feel they are bullied. The study also investigated whether schools can influence these non-academic outcomes. The study makes use of the Longitudinal Study of Young People in England, which is a survey of young people in secondary school that collects information on bullying, truancy and many other factors in each child's life. The data is linked to information on each child's academic achievement, enabling this study to investigate the inter-relationship between a pupil's academic performance and non academic outcomes. Pupils who enjoy school more at age 14 have, perhaps unsurprisingly, higher academic achievement by age 16. Equally, children who have higher achievement at age 11 go on to enjoy school more at age 16 though this is a not a strong relationship. In other words enjoyment of school and academic achievement are clearly linked. Pupils who were bullied or who took unauthorised absence at age 14 had significantly lower educational achievement at GCSE. Pupils who experienced bullying at age 14 were also much more likely to experience bullying at age 16. Therefore early negative outcomes, such as being bullied, suggest the child is at risk of having later negative experiences at age 16. Conversely, pupils who participate in positive extra-curricular activities, such as clubs, were also found to have better academic achievement later in their schooling. High achievers at school, i.e. pupils who do well academically at age 14, were also no more likely to be bullied at age 16 than other children. The report also investigated the impact of schools on some of these non-academic outcomes between 14-16 and found little evidence that schools currently have different impacts on pupil's enjoyment of school, nor whether they take unauthorised absence, nor their likelihood of being bullied. In other words, which school a pupil attends is likely to have small or no effect on their wider well-being. This does not mean that schools do not have the potential to impact on these factors but rather that currently there are not large differences across schools in these outcomes once socio-economic factors have been taken into account. The report concludes that non-academic factors, such as a pupil's enjoyment of school, are inextricably linked to pupils' academic achievement. We need to be aware of these relationships when considering policies to improve pupil achievement. The report also provides some useful risk indicators of future low pupil academic achievement. For example, some factors, such as being bullied or taking unauthorised absence, predict low future academic achievement. Again this can be used by schools and policy-makers to identify pupils at risk of low attainment. This research report was written before the new UK Government took office on 11 May 2010. As a result the content may not reflect current Government policy. This research will be of use to officials and ministers in helping to shape the future direction of policy and Departmental strategy.
    Keywords: education, bullying
    Date: 2010–08
  3. By: Dronkers Jaap; Velden Rolf van der; Dunne Allison (ROA rm)
    Abstract: The effects of educational systems, school-composition, track-level, parentalbackground and immigrants’ origins on the achievement of 15-years old native andimmigrant students. A reanalysis of PISA 2006.The main research question of this paper is the combined estimation of the effectsof educational systems, school-composition and track-level on the educationalachievement of 15-years-old students. We specifically focus on the effects of socioeconomicand ethnic background on achievement scores and to what extent theseeffects are affected by characteristics of the school, track or educational system thesestudents are in. In doing so, we examine the ‘sorting’ mechanisms of schools and tracksin highly stratified, moderately stratified and comprehensive education systems. Weuse data from the 2006 PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment) wave.Compared to previous research in this area the main contribution of this paper is thatwe explicitly include track-level and school-level as separate units of analyses, whichleads to less biased results of the effects of characteristics of the educational system.The results highlight the importance of including track-level and school-level factorsin the debate of educational inequality of opportunity for students in differenteducation contexts. The findings clearly indicate that the effects of educationalsystem characteristics are flawed if the analysis uses only a country and a studentlevel and ignores the track- and school-level characteristics. Moreover the inclusionof the track-level is necessary to avoid overestimation of the school-compositioneffect, especially in stratified educational systems. From a policy perspective, the mostimportant finding is that educational system are not uniformly ‘good’ or ‘bad’, butthey have different consequences for different groups. Some groups are better offin comprehensive systems, while other groups are better off in moderately or highlystratified systems.
    Keywords: labour market entry and occupational careers;
    Date: 2011
  4. By: Aristovnik, Aleksander; Obadić, Alka
    Abstract: The paper applies a non-parametric approach, i.e. data envelopment analysis (DEA), to assess the relative technical efficiency of higher education across countries, with a particular focus on Croatia and Slovenia. When estimating the efficiency frontier we focus on measures of quantities outputs/outcomes. The results show that the relatively high public expenditure per student in Croatia could have resulted in a relatively better performance regarding the outputs/outcomes, i.e. a higher rate of higher education school enrolment, a greater rate of labor force with a higher education and a lower rate of the unemployed who have a tertiary education. On the other hand, regardless of the input-output/outcome mix, the higher education system in Slovenia is shown to have a much higher level of efficiency compared to both Croatia and many other comparable EU and OECD countries.
    Keywords: higher education; funding; efficiency; DEA; Croatia; Slovenia; EU; OECD
    JEL: A23 J52 I21 J24
    Date: 2011–01–10
  5. By: Camargos, Braz Ministério de; Firpo, Sergio Pinheiro; Ponczek, Vladimir Pinheiro
    Abstract: In this paper we test whether the disclosure of test scores has direct impacts on studentperformance, school composition and school inputs. We take advantage of the discontinuityon the disclosure rules of The National Secondary Education Examination (ENEM) run inBrazil by the Ministry of Education: In 2006 it was established that the 2005 mean scoreresults would be disclosed for schools with ten or more students who took the exam inthe previous year. We use a regression discontinuity design to estimate the e ects of testdisclosure. Our results indicate that private schools that had their average scores releasedin 2005 outperformed those that did not by 0.2-0.6 in 2007. We did not nd same resultsfor public schools. Moreover, we did not nd evidence that treated schools adjusted theirinputs or that there was major changes in the students composition of treated schools.These ndings allow us to interpret that the main mechanism driving the di erences inperformance was the increased levels of students', teachers' and principals' e ort exerted bythose in schools that had scores publicized.
    Date: 2011–06–02
  6. By: Gonzalo Castex
    Abstract: This paper takes the risk of college participation into context when evaluating the return to college education. College dropout and a higher permanent income shock for those who graduate from college accounts for 51% of the excess return to college education. Using a simple risk premium approach, I reconcile the observed high average returns to schooling with relatively low attendance rates. A high dropout risk has two important effects on the estimated average returns to college education: via selection bias and via risk premium.
    Date: 2011–05
  7. By: Bruce Chapman; Mathias Sinning
    Abstract: It is generally agreed that the funding base for German universities is inadequate and perhaps the time has come for serious consideration of the imposition of nontrivial tuition charges. Against this background, this paper compares conventional and income contingent loans for financing tuition fees at German universities. With the use of unconditional age-income quantile regression approaches our analysis considers two critical aspects of the loan debate; the size of repayment burdens associated with normal mortgage-style loans, and the time structure of revenue to the government from a hypothetical income contingent loan scheme. It is found that tuition fees at German universities could increase considerably with the use of an income contingent loan system based on current policy approaches used in Australia, England and New Zealand.
    Keywords: Educational finance; student financial aid; state and federal aid; government expenditures on education
    JEL: H52 I22 I28
    Date: 2011–03
  8. By: Bauer, Thomas (RWI); Bender, Stefan (Institute for Employment Research (IAB), Nuremberg); Paloyo, Alfredo (Ruhr Graduate School in Economics); Schmidt, Christoph M. (RWI)
    Abstract: Compulsory military service typically drafts young men when they are at the height of their learning ability. Thus, it can be expected to depress the demand for higher education since skill atrophy and the delayed entry into the civilian labor market reduce the returns to human-capital investments. Attending university, however, might open the possibility to avoid the draft, leading to an increase in the demand for tertiary education. To estimate the causal effect of conscription on the probability to obtain a university degree, we use a regression-discontinuity design that employs special regulations associated with the introduction of conscription in Germany in 1956. We estimate conscription to increase the probability of having a university degree.
    Keywords: career interruption, conscription, regression discontinuity, skill atrophy, TS2SLS
    JEL: I28 J24
    Date: 2011–05
  9. By: John P. Papay; John B. Willett; Richard J. Murnane
    Abstract: We ask whether failing one or more of the state-mandated high-school exit examinations affects whether students graduate from high school. Using a new multi-dimensional regression-discontinuity approach, we examine simultaneously scores on mathematics and English language arts tests. Barely passing both examinations, as opposed to failing them, increases the probability that students graduate by 7.6 percentage points. The effects are greater for students scoring near each cutoff than for students further away from them. We explain how the multi-dimensional regression-discontinuity approach provides insights over conventional methods for making causal inferences when multiple variables assign individuals to a range of treatments.
    JEL: C10 C14 I20 I21 I28 J24
    Date: 2011–06

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